Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ocean revelations

The ocean is speaking. It says "Come and visit me today. When you were young I'd see you much more often standing on the shore amazed at my imensity. I have many secrets to reveal, if only you'd return to the magical place, where my waters sift the sand and kiss your feet."

Its siren call almost wins me over. But I am very tired. And not so young anymore. Instead I sit and listen to the time as it moves past me, in the slow mechanical monotony of the clock's pendullum, which swings above my head like a damaclean sword.

Tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow. . .

It is cold and the gray windswept sky presses down with the force of my deepest fears. The sand feels cold and sticky as it collects between my numbing toes. My shoes lay somewhere in the tall beach grass that permeates the dunes.

Time seems endless here. I lose track of it while plodding through the pasty sand and the frigid water, that once again has dared to reach my feet. Thinking I heard someone call out to me, I swing around, but no one is within sight. Instead I see a single line of footprints that disappears around a bend in the shore. "Only one set of footprints" like in the poem, except these I know are mine and not God's. I know well by now the prints my feet leave behind. I've spent half my lifespan leaving them in endless circles, or along paths I wish I'd never taken... past others I wish I had.

Shards of shells coughed up from the surf like an infection are gnawing at my feet. These, I think, will be the only secrets given up by this coquettish sea. The momentary silences between the crashing waves give way to the mocking laughter of some gulls. My feet are hurting, one is bleeding, and the wing'ed white beings above just keep laughing from their lofty position in the sky, like a chorus of demon angels announcing the birth of absolutely nothing. Their screeching calls echoing and building, make me dizzy with angst and fury because the ocean reveals nothing to me anymore. My head feels like it will explode from the relentless cackles of the birds, which have now been joined by others.

Hands over my ears, I stand here and try to ignore the chorus, and watch my single path of footprints being erased by the careless tide. It will wipe away every trace of my presence here, as if to say, "Look, you were never here at all."
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I am sick and tired of dreams. I hate dreaming.

Yesterday I was bouncing off the walls.

Last night I slept miserably.

I had a nightmare of being handcuffed and taken to some place of confinement. I had threatened to kill myself because my ex-wife/partner/companion was once again rejecting me. Finding a man with better looks, better brains, better earning potential, and a 2-door Mercedes coupe with "WooHoo" license plates. It was just a matter of fact Darwinian choice. He was there. He was better. Only the successful survive. The female of the species has gotta look out for her future. Who would blame her? Its been happening since we lived in caves. But I seriously think I would have won out back then. The sabertooth tiger would have pissed the wrong person off if he had decided to stalk me. And there would be no law against inflicting bodily injury on a man who wandered in the mouth of your cave to break up your family, and steal your wife. No, it would have been advantageous to hold on to me back then.

But times have changed. We are civilized now. We don't kill each other. We just routinely betray trust, cross boundaries, and leave each other behind.

With nightmares fueled from the stories I've been overdosing on while reading all the blogs, it seems to have reawakened some things I thought I had dealt with before, or at least successfully repressed. Its like waking up underwater with no reserve in my lungs, and not knowing which way to the surface.

It time to move on. In fact in many ways I already have. But I can't stop the nightmares when they decide to invade my head at night.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Writing in Hindi by mistake...

Now that was weird! I was transliterating my english into Hindi. I must have been falling back into my past life as Gandhi. I know. I know. Obviously, I've regressed BIG time! (i.e. as Peter since being Gandhi)

Actually, what happened was I screwed up my blog settings, but things seem to be ok now... with my blog settings that is.

What I was trying to write was "Ok, I lied..." I haven't been writing, and will probably not write anything today. Instead I've been having a pretty good jaunt around blogland. I just left Am I Still Ill? a blog by Zoe, which everyone probably already knows about but me. But if you want something to lift your spirits, I suggest going there immediately. I could barely keep up with her humorous wit. It made me smile... a lot. She's a very talented writer.

Take a look if you haven't already.
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ओके, सो इ लिएद

वही ऍम इ व्रितिंग इन हिन्दी...

Too much to write about... I am leaving this post to say, I'm writing right now. Trying to organize my thoughts because its all just swirling around up there as usual. But its all good today for a change. I'm taking the steps, but there are people at my new support group and in this blogosphere that are pretty darn wonderful!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I've been searching for a new way to approach my illness and the adverse affects it has had on my life.

While reading through a recent Beliefnet email I clicked on a link to Therese J. Borchard's blog Beyond Blue which had posted an interesting piece from the blog If You're Going Through Hell Keep Going. From these two blogs I began reading the blogs that were being followed, and went from one to another, reading, reading, reading... and often subscribing, as you can see by the list of blogs I am currently following.

My brain is shutting down, so I thought I'd write a post and then go to bed.

Since losing my job at the beginning of 2006, I've been spinning my wheels, and there is very little tred left on them. After a few fitful starts and stops attempting to gain momentum for a career transition, including returning to college fulltime for a year (Fall '06 /Spring '07), I have recently come to the conclusion that I am not going to get out of this alive, alone.

I have been taking some faltering steps in a new direction, for me. First, I've been actively looking around for a depression/bipolar support group, visiting three different ones so far. And second, I've decided to birth this blog. I suppose for the forseeable future it will look more like a boring, whiny, personal journal than anything like the enlightened commentary I've been reading in your blogs. But if so, I can't really apologize just yet.

However, I am depending on learning from my fellow bloggers out there who are sooooo much more experienced than I am at putting it all out there, and hopefully at recovery too. I need desperately to interact (hopefully!) with others who are willing to share their insights on what I will be writing, as I hope to do for them as well.

I need to begin to become part of something bigger than myself. I am very sick of this little world of 'Me' I've been inhabiting. My own personal planet has only gotten smaller and smaller over the duration of my illness. And soon I fear I will simply disappear from view altogether. And no one will know I even exist, like the dustspeck in Horton Hear's A Who.

Its time for something, anything to change, for the better.

I found so many diverse views on depression and bipolar issues, especially concerning the efficacy of the various psychotropic pharmaceuticals used to treat depression, bipolar and otherwise. It seems a revolution is taking shape that I've been left out of, and the rebellion has already begun against the entire present day psychiatric paradygm. Besides the drugs, the DSM diagnostic criteria itself is being attacked as simply a tool of the pharmaceutical industry to create market niches for their products.

Needless to say, its all quite confusing to a struggler like me, who is just getting his feet wet by joining in the discussion, both here in the blogosphere and in person in support groups. It seems there is no firm footing. Nothing is solid anymore. I can't even count on the validity of my diagnosis, or the prognosis of whatever is going on in my head, nor the efficacy of my meds. Instead, I must now contemplate the damage they have already inflicted on my grey matter over the past 15 years or so.

It all has me a bit off balance, and its opened up a Pandora's box of new demons to swarm and rattle their cages inside my skull.

It makes me doubt that I can say anything useful here that someone may find helpful, challenging, or even worth commenting on from time to time. Considering how difficult I find it to start new projects and especially to stick with them, I so much want to be equal to the task. But I just don't know.

I have always sort of been an outsider. I've felt that way most of my life. I'm not cool or hip. And if I begin worrying about saying the right things, or being rejected or never noticed, then my writing will not be authentic. I don't want to say only what I think others want to hear.

When I see followers come and then go, will I simply want to give up? I know that I need to do this for myself, but I so much desire the perspectives and viewpoints of others, else it just won't seem worth it. I guess I'm feeling intimidated.

I've been alone too much. I have been an island too long, and I hate my tendency to isolate myself from others. Its the last thing I need. But dialogue and relationship take energy. And that is one thing I don't have right now.

For the timebeing, I will continue to follow the blogs I've been finding interesting and helpful, and hopefully eventually contributing something of worth as I come up to speed on the issues. I hope to fill you in on the history surrounding my diagnosis and treatment plans, past and present. And once I've gotten my foot in the door, I am hoping you will let me in.
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Making coffee is hard, so is taking off my boots

This morning I picked up my thermal coffee carafe, jiggled it, and was happy to find that it still had a cup or two of coffee in it, left over from the previous day. That meant I could remain seated on the couch with my laptop and put off disentangling myself from all the stuff I have plugged into it. In my current state of immobility and paralysis, I was more than happy to make the trade-off of drinking day-old cold coffee rather than trekking to the kitchen to measure and grind the beans, clean out the permanent filter, fill up the water reservoir, turn it on, and return to the couch only to get up again minutes later after it began making the gurgling noise indicating it was almost done.

Last night I went to bed with my boots on. It was snowing on and off all day. I had to make a late run to the pharmacy for one of my meds that I had run out of the previous day. Upon returning, unlacing my boots just didn't seem doable.

Somethings got to give.
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